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Merry Christmas from Panama!

Nourish Farm Panama - merry Christmas!

Our first Christmas here in Panama is in just a few days. We've been doing a lot of the same things that we usually do as a family: celebrating Advent by reading daily Bible stories as a family (we did "The Jesse Tree" and are going through this book again this year), baking gingerbread cookies and other sweets, sharing Christmas treats with local friends here, getting gifts for family (sending by mail), attending local Christmas activities, decorating our little space for Christmas, wrapping a few special gifts we got each boy, and listening to lots of Christmas music of course.

We are missing being around our family and Turlock friends, but are very blessed to already have made wonderful friends here. And we do like a more peaceful, quiet Christmas season, so we are definitely not missing the busyness or craziness that the holiday season can sometimes feel like.

I wanted to share a little update about us as we move into the new year of 2024.

We are living at a lovely hotel here in Las Lajas. We have a cute little one bedroom apartment with a small kitchen, but great outdoor patio to dine and hang out; a huge yard area with lots of fruit trees like citrus and coconuts; and a big beautiful pool right outside our door. It was a bit of a challenge to transition into a tiny living space, but we did it and it's really not as hard as I expected. I prayed a lot about it, and once again (no surprise) the Lord reveals his grace and mercy in the mundane. It's not forever and I think it's good for us to learn to live in different arrangements and different settings. Flexibility is an important character trait!

Since we are living here now, it means we are only about 5 minutes away from our farm! We can get there so much easier and quicker now, and have been starting a lot of projects there, so we needed it to be more convenient. We hired a great local builder. His crew and him started work on a milk barn and tool shed area at our farm. We're going to have a large covered space for working with the cattle, milking, and storing all our husbandry supplies. It's so, so exciting to see some infrastructure start to go up. We are also starting work on fencing to border our entire home site, garden area, and yard for play and relaxing. There's access to great hardwoods here, so we found a local guy who is making posts and building the fence with his crew.

We're also drawing out ideas for paddocks for our intensive rotational grazing system. We will be getting a huge load of large rocks soon, and will use those to build damns along our creek to help widen it and slow the flow of water. We'll be excavating the home site soon and digging out a perfect pond site right near our home. There's already this huge basically hole in the ground with some shade trees around it, so we'll be turning it into a pond with overflow stream and little waterfalls.

We recently finished the final drawings for our dome home! Listen to our podcast episode on that process here. So now we wait for the process of getting them approved and permitted by the localities. Then we plan to start the foundation process in mid January and the build process in February! We are hoping to be able to move in by June of 2024. We are staying positive and very, very excited to see our new home come to life, all within the confines of our beautiful farm.

We are moving into the dry season here, which means less or no rain, hotter days, but less clouds so more amazing sunsets every night! Also less mosquitoes and less humidity - we continue to learn about and adapt to the seasons and weather here. Our goal, by the time next year's rainy season starts, is to have our fencing and garden site secured so we can start planting trees and perennial shrubs. This way the natural rains will help them get established.

We recently bought a second vehicle. It is an old Chevy Geo Tracker for a little over $2k. It has been the funnest investment! Our Subaru Forrester is obviously very reliable and we love it, but it only fits us. We have friends and hopefully some family coming to visit us in the near future and want to be able to drive them around. Eddie also will be traveling a bit for work, so having two cars will be helpful. It's a fun little open top car, perfect for around town, the beach and the farm. Check it out in my Instagram post here.

The boys are doing well. They have had more and more opportunities to play with kids and make new friends. I am on the hunt for a local helper to watch the younger boys a few days a week while we start to do more and more work at the farm. It will also help them learn Spanish. But we're also wanting to involve all of the boys with the building process as much as we can and as much as they can handle. The kids being a part of all these processes has really helped them adjust and feel like this really is their new home.

Eddie will be starting his new job in January and doing some traveling, so that will also be an adjustment. He's excited to learn about his new role as a dairy consultant down here and bring in some more income for us. His mind is twirling, just like mine, with all the ideas and potential for our farm and future here. We talk constantly about new things we've thought about and new goals and ideas.

It has been hard to not have a farm to tend to and our own cozy home anymore, but like I mentioned above, I am learning a lot of flexibility and I know it only makes me a better woman as well as more compassionate and resilient. I am soooo full of anticipation and excitement - drawing all my plans for our farm and permaculture systems: roads, water capture, paddocks for the cows, trees, pond, trails, fencing, etc. Plans for the house- flooring, kitchen setup, lighting, furniture, colors. And far off future plans for Nourish Farm Panama, community events, women's circles by the creek, kids event under the shade trees, farm store, and just simply being able to host family and friends from afar as well as have new, local friends over for meals. At the same time, I am learning patience and steadfastness as we have to watch each goal slowly but surely be completed, and just take it one day at time.

God is good and all the glory goes to Him!

That's all I can think of for now. We are thrilled for what this next year will bring.

We want to wish all of you a beautiful Christmas and New Year and hope you all feel so much love and peace this holiday season.

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands." Psalm 90:17

Until next,




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